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About Karen McMillan

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Karen McMillan has written a bunch of bestselling books for adults, but she is now enjoying writing the Elastic Island Adventures for children.

Jewel Lagoon is the first in this series, Port Mugaloo the second, Rainbow Cove the third, Alphabet Resort the fourth and Kingdom of Blong the fifth, out in 2021. She is currently writing book six, Flip Flop Bay!

In the meantime, younger readers can enjoy the picture book Blong the Cat’s Costume Capers.

Blong the cat features in many of the books and is a real-life cat that Karen and her husband rescued as a starving kitten from Vanuatu, taking him to live in Auckland, New Zealand.

Heathcliff the Dog features in book five of the Elastic Island Adventures series, and he is based on Karen’s husband real-life dog of the same name.

In some ways, Karen is a mix of Emma and Kiri from the Elastic Island Adventures books. Like Emma, Karen loves reading wouldn't want to climb a mountain. Like Kiri, Karen loves to swim and to sing.

Karen loves hearing from her readers, so feel free to write to her at

Find out more about Karen at


‘We were privileged to host Karen McMillan as part of the 2019 Tauranga Arts Festival, Schools Festival programme.
The feedback has been that the children were really engaged at all times. Karen has an amazing personality which
children easily connect with, and I have no hesitation in recommending Karen and the work she does.’

Jo Bond,
Festival Director 


‘Karen is a fantastic presenter, full of enthusiasm. She had 200 Year 5 and 6 kids captivated for a whole hour and the kids were queuing up to get the whole Elastic Island Adventures series from the library afterwards. I had to buy extra copies of each book to cope with the demand, which is the best reaction I’ve ever had to an author visit! I would have Karen back again in a heartbeat.’

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School and Festival Events

Karen has done numerous events in the last few years with schools, bookshops, libraries, as well as the following festivals:
Devonport Arts Festival, April 2017
Going West Festival, September 2017
Brisbane Book Week, August 2018 (thanks to Creative NZ Funding)
Devonport Arts Festival, April 2019
Tauranga Arts Festival, October 2019

Hamilton Book Month, August 2021

Karen also has a growing media presence. She was the resident book reviewer on The Cafe TV3 in 2019 and 2020, and there are numerous articles and interviews in print, TV and radio.

Want to invite Karen to do an event at your school or festival?  Just email her at to see about her availability.

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Zac McCallum

Halswell School Library


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